DIY Pregnancy Stretch Mark Salve

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stretch mark salve recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » DIY Pregnancy Stretch Mark Salve

Oh, stretch marks… I got stretch marks with my first pregnancy and have since gotten rid of them, even through five more pregnancies. Better yet, I haven’t gotten any new ones! I think it’s largely due to a healthy diet and lifestyle, but today I’m also sharing my stretch mark salve moisturizer I make.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade a second of motherhood for better abs, but just because I earned my mama stripes doesn’t mean I want to keep them!

Aside from pregnancy, this salve is great for nourishing skin during weight gain or weight loss for any reason.

Stretch Mark Salve: Why Do We Need It?

While it’s often blamed on genetics (and there’s some truth to this), other things contribute to stretch marks. When skin grows and stretches rapidly, like during puberty, severe weight gain, or pregnancy, stretch marks are often the result.

According to Mayo Clinic, higher levels of cortisol also have a negative impact on our skin tone and weakens elastin fibers in the skin. (Here’s how I got my cortisol back under control.)

Can You Actually Remove Stretch Marks?

While there isn’t a DIY stretch mark cream that will magically erase them, it can help fade stretch marks. Over the years I’ve found several key things that worked for me to fade my “tiger stripes”.

  • Consume lots of grass-fed collagen and gelatin to help skin repair, rebuild, and maintain elasticity. Homemade bone broth, gelatin and collagen powder are all good sources
  • I’ve noticed a big difference in skin firmness since using red light therapy! Even my C-section scar is fading the more I use it.
  • Get your daily dose, of vitamins that is. Healthy fats for fat-soluble vitamins, along with vitamin C and sun exposure for vitamin D help skin repair from stretch marks. Read more about my approach to a skin-healthy diet for pregnancy here.

Ingredients for the Best Stretch Mark Cream

There are a few key ingredients that have a proven track record when it comes to fading scars and stretch marks. A good stretch mark salve also helps keep skin supple as it stretches during pregnancy to accommodate baby. Here’s a breakdown of why I chose each ingredient and what it does to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Coconut Oil

Oh let me count the ways… Coconut oil gets a lot of use around our house, from toothpaste to hair treatments, to skincare. It’s also helpful in this stretch mark removal cream. Coconut oil can also help prevent stretch marks by helping skin grow without tearing.

Don’t have any virgin coconut oil on hand? You can substitute equal parts shea butter and liquid carrier oil (like sweet almond or olive oil).

Apricot Kernel Oil

This isn’t an oil I use as often as coconut oil, but I really like it in this DIY stretch mark salve recipe. Apricot kernel oil is high in the antioxidant vitamin E and supports the skin’s protective barrier. It’s really high in linoleic acid to nourish skin and is a light, faster absorbing oil.

If you don’t have any apricot kernel oil on hand, then sweet almond oil or grapeseed can also be used.

Shea and Cocoa Butter

Long term use of shea butter helps soften and strengthen skin. It’s been used for many years medicinally, including in wound care. My favorite part about shea is how it provides skin with what it needs to produce collagen for supple, strong skin.

Cocoa butter is harder than shea butter but has a lot of the same benefits. This butter helps prevent moisture loss from skin and is traditionally used to both prevent and get rid of stretch marks. It’s very moisturizing and nourishing for dry skin.

Both shea butter and cocoa butter have unique properties and can’t totally replace each other. That said if you only have one or the other you can still make this recipe. If replacing the cocoa butter with shea butter though use a little less since it’s harder.

If you’re using just shea butter, then a little beeswax will help firm up the homemade stretch mark cream.

Rosehip Seed Oil

While some may say it’s better than botox for wrinkles, rosehip seed oil is also great for stretch marks. Rosehip seed oil is really high in vitamin A, C, and E to promote healthy collagen and skin cell formation. Because it’s slightly drying, it helps balance out the heavier feel of the butters and coconut oil in this stretch mark salve.

Calendula and Ginger

Yes, it’s totally possible to just use oil and butters, but why not infuse them with the benefits of herbs? Calendula is great for all things skin-related and helps stimulate collagen production.

Ginger is known to increase circulation and decrease inflammation to help improve skin tone. It also helps prevent collagen breakdown to keep skin firm. A 2013 article in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Industry reports that ginger helps with skin repair.

Essential Oils for Stretch Marks

Essential oils during pregnancy are controversial, to put it nicely. Thankfully we do have some safe options when it comes to skincare. According to experts, essential oils should be limited during the first trimester and certain ones should be avoided altogether.

We can use up to a 4% dilution for smaller areas of the body during pregnancy. For balance, this stretch mark salve uses a 2% dilution, though you could go a little stronger if preferred. The following essential oils can safely be used in the second and third trimesters to help reduce and fade stretch marks:

Homemade Stretch Mark Cream

This salve is designed to keep skin supple to accommodate a growing belly and soothe any pregnancy-related skin irritation. It’s super simple to make so I can even manage to remember the recipe when I have placenta brain. It can be whipped to make a lotion consistency that’s basically a body butter.

stretch mark salve recipe
4.28 from 11 votes

Homemade Stretch Mark Salve Recipe

Rich and luxurious, yet not too heavy, this stretch mark cream helps fade and prevent marks.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
herb infusion30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Yield: 7.5 ounces
Author: Katie Wells



  • Add the coconut oil, calendula, and ginger to the top of a double boiler. Heat water underneath to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the herbs. Skip this step if you aren’t using the herbs.
  • Add the cocoa butter and shea butter to the top of the double boiler. Heat just until melted, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pour into a metal tin or glass jar and put in the fridge to cool. This fast cool time helps prevent the shea butter from going grainy and beading up.


For a whipped version pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until firm, but not frozen. Whip with the whisk attachment on your mixer and store in a glass jar.

Shelf life and storage: This should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct heat and light. The salve should last about a year if stored properly, if not longer.

Ever tried a salve for stretch marks? What have you done that’s helped get rid of them? Share below!

This natural salve uses shea butter and coconut oil with added herbs and carrier oils to create a soothing and moisturizing lotion to remove stretch marks.


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


158 responses to “DIY Pregnancy Stretch Mark Salve”

  1. Abigail Avatar

    I started using this around week 20 of my pregnancy (I’m week 28 now). It hasn’t removed current stretch marks but I will say I haven’t developed new ones. My version was a bit too oily but didn’t try to correct it. Made another batch today since I ran out fairly quickly; I like this so much I use it everywhere, even my face!

  2. Lucy Avatar

    Hi – I was just reading your blog post about the benefits of calendula…but how it’s best avoided in pregnancy – then I see this recipe containing calendula, for use during pregnancy…please can you confirm if it’s safe or not? Thanks

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      My midwife said it was fine topically during pregnancy but should be avoided internally. I’d definitely ask your own doctor or midwife to be safe though.

  3. Kelly Avatar

    This recipe seems similar to your whipped lotion recipe. Would I still get the same benefits if I made the lotion with all Shea butter, almond, and coconut oil, and added ginger root to it? My stretch marks are from rapid weight gain. I plan to use the lotion daily.
    Also, how long does this take to help minimize stretch marks? Should I be applying more than once per day?

  4. Jenny Avatar

    Would Mango Butter instead of Shea Butter work for this recipie?

  5. Kami Avatar

    I didn’t use this to heal/reverse stretch marks, but I used it to prevent them during pregnancy. I assumed I would get them since my mother got them (so genetics) and I got them on my thighs as a teen when I hit a major growth spurt (puberty). But I made this and used it once a day during two pregnancies in which I gained 40 lbs, and I got zero stretch marks. I ate a relatively healthy diet for the most part but cravings got me and I probably didn’t get enough collagen, but I adore this skin cream for pregnancy. Thank you!

  6. Madison Avatar

    Just curious because Calendula herbs aren’t recommend during pregnancy so is this still safe to use on skin?

  7. lisa Avatar

    Does this help with the scars them self, like the texture marks, not just the color. My stretch marks are 18 years old, some have color and some are white. For me its the texture which looks like tears in the skin.
    I have been eating a healthy diet for most of those years but have been eating organic meats lately as well.
    Any more tips on the proper diet for collagen boosting or anything to help tighten the skin. ?

  8. Calley Avatar

    Hi There –

    I made this recipe at home and it didn’t stand up – a few days later, its still liquid. Any suggestions to firm it up without wasting what’s there?

    – Calley

  9. Elissa Avatar

    Question for anyone who has solved this issue: anything I make with shea butter ends up having little hard clumps of shea butter congeal over time, making it unpleasant and difficult to use the product. Any solutions? TIA! Elissa

4.28 from 11 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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